By Benjamin H. Liles
There is one glaring thing that stands out to me in Ezekiel 41 and here it is: the idea of being humble and just. Why do I say that? Throughout Ezekiel 41 he is showing us through the vision God gives him that we must align ourselves to God's word as well as being holy, with holiness meaning being humble and just. I know holiness has it's own meaning, "dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred." The idea here is that for us we ought to allow God the right to both humble us and to justify us.
Knowing that then we can understand why Jesus pronounced a long list of "Woes" upon the Pharisees (see Matthew 23). We see that He, Jesus, has a strong word about being consecrated for God, for His purpose, for He says, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness" (Luke 11:39, Berean Study). If we want Jesus Christ on the throne of our "Joly of Holies" (Hebrews 9:3) then we need to make sure we're cleansed fully by His word, as He is the manna given to us (Hebrews 9:4).
We're told God says to Ezekiel, "This is the Most Holy Place" (Ezekiel 41:4, New King James). Why is it so important to have our inner selves cleaned up? If we only look at our physical appearance and say we look good enough to be presented but harbor nasty, filthy things on the inside are we truly clean or are we still a mess? Jesus is telling those Pharisees as well as us, "Your inner person matters a great deal more than your actual appearance!"
It matters little if your shirt is starched and pressed, your pants as well, that your belt is in order, your socks are without stain, your dress shoes are the nines -- these are nice to have cleaned, but what about the condition of our heart? I know a lot of us could care less for the President of the United States, Donald Trump. For some saying his name makes you feel unclean. My point is here if you were called to meet him you wouldn't think to yourself, "I want to go and tell him off to his face." No, you wouldn't. You would take a good look at yourself.
I love how James writes it in his letter to the church, "My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger...Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you... But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does" (italics for emphasis, James 1:19-25, Holman Christian Standard).
The idea for and about holiness is allowing God to keep you set apart, to being teachable, humble, and to live justly. It's like He told Micah, "He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8, King James 2000 Bible). It stands therefore that we ought to clean up our inner man if we are to please God. That's a very hard thing to do, however. On our own we think we know what it takes to do this. But God, through Jesus, says otherwise, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me...With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:21, 26, New American Standard).
I've preached Christ for a long time on here and I feel a need to be honest here: I struggle with porn a lot. I don't look at it, praise God, but I do struggle with it. How do I deal with this big and glaring issue? I look to Jesus Christ as my strength; I look at my wife whom I greatly love, the Spirit that Christ has given her, and I think to myself, "Wow, I've got a great thing here!" First things first here: Solomon wrote, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than rubies" (Proverbs 18:22, 31:20, Berean Study). For me, I truly feel blessed to have a wonderful wife. The other side of that is God cleansed me through His Son's blood. When I feel I'm about to sin against Him and my wife I just go ahead and take it to Him. Then I do my best to talk about things through with my wife.
I can hear you guys right now: "Why would you talk to your wife? It's not her business!" Yes, it is. If you want your marriage to work and last you will discuss every thing with her, for a happy wife makes a happy home: and this is part of my philosophy. The thing is, for me, I want a pure and undefiled heart towards God as well as my wife. It's one thing to hear God say, "Well done good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21, 23), but I also enjoy hearing my wife say, "Thanks for telling me what you have problems with, just make sure you also take it to the Lord." That's the most important thing to me: my wife and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Folks, I know Christmas is just around the corner so I'm going to do what I can to post more up here in the next two days; maybe not tonight, but definitely more in the next couple days. I want to spend quality time with my wife and my family--parents, sister and grandmother. I will keep as up-to-date on here as I can. I also encourage you guys to keep on reading the Bible, God's word. Even if you don't understand what I'm saying, ask someone who knows the Bible well enough to help you in your faith. I do the best I can to encourage and to build you up. I pray this finds all of you well and blessed. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.